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Lofty views, modern vibes: A review of Conrad Osaka

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Japan’s fusion of modern and the traditional is nowhere better expressed than Osaka. Known for its thriving food scene, underground shopping malls, offbeat fashions and progressive, free-spirited ambience, this gateway city to the Kansai region has become an essential stop on any Japan itinerary.

No wonder the major international hotel chains have expanded their footprint in the city in recent years. Since the St. Regis debuted in 2010 (the city’s first luxury hotel in 13 years), there’s been a slew of new properties across the budget spectrum, including Marriott’s Moxy Honmachi, which opened in 2020, swiftly followed by Aloft and W outposts from Marriott.

IHG‘s Voco Osaka opened in July 2023, and 2024 will see a number of highly anticipated openings, including a swanky 175-key Four Seasons; a hipster-oriented Caption by Hyatt Namba outpost; and a new-build Doubletree from Hilton.

Hilton’s Conrad brand slinked onto the scene in 2017 with its signature classy but cool style underpinned by warm hospitality and elevated design standards. But with classic luxury stalwarts like The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis offering plenty of glamor, glitz, jaw-dropping views and renowned service, how would this Conrad outpost stack up?

Here’s everything you need to know before booking a stay at the Conrad Osaka.

Getting there


Conrad Osaka occupies the 33rd to 40th floors of one of Osaka’s flashiest tower blocks, Festival Tower West, in the vibrant Nakanoshima area. It’s a futuristic 2-mile urban island that looks straight out of “Bladerunner,” especially at night with its neon-lit skyscrapers and looping elevated expressways.    

Most travelers to Osaka arrive at Shin-Osaka train station, either via the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo (around 2 hours and 30 minutes) or Kyoto (15-20 minutes). They might also arrive via the Haruka express train (50 minutes) from the Renzo Piano-designed Kansai International Airport (KIX), set on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. 

The Conrad is a 10-minute taxi ride from the train station (2,200 Japanese yen, or $13). Metered taxis are plentiful outside the station’s main exit, but it’s useful to have the name of the hotel on your phone in Japanese. (We also found Siri on our iPhones adept at translating for our tax drivers during our Japan trip.) Taxis from the airport take about 40 minutes and cost about 20,000 yen ($140), though you can also take a train from the airport to Osaka Station for 1,000 yen ($7) and call a taxi from there.

Related: The best way to get to Japan using points and miles


TPG paid $427 per night for my standard (a Twin Deluxe or King Deluxe) room. Nightly rates at Conrad Osaka vary from $365 to around $829 on peak dates during spring cherry blossom season, fall leaf season toward the end of November and major Japanese holidays.

Standard Hilton Honors redemptions start at 95,000 points per night. Since I have Diamond status with Hilton (based on the 120,000 base points I accumulated in 2023 through bonus point promotions and spending), I was upgraded to a Twin Premium View room. This would have cost an additional $80 per night for my travel dates in late November.


In addition to the upgraded room, Diamond status perks here also include complimentary breakfast (buffet and a la carte) as well as early check-in and late checkout (when available). It offers access to the Executive Lounge, which offers a range of hors d’oeuvres and beverages, including top-shelf liquors and wines, served from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

When booking the Conrad Osaka, you’ll want to use one of the credit cards that earn the most points for Hilton stays as well as one that possibly offers automatic Hilton Honors elite status for value-added benefits. These include:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels; automatic Gold elite status and the ability to upgrade to Diamond status by spending $40,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels; automatic Gold elite status and the ability to upgrade to Diamond status by spending $40,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 7 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels; automatic Hilton Honors Silver status (with an upgrade to Gold when you spend $20,000 in a calendar year).
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 14 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels; automatic Diamond elite status.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

The vibe

From the moment you step into the lobby on the 40th floor, you’ll get an inkling of the dramatic design that awaits. A three-story, curving wall of windows frames city views, and modern artwork graces the walls. Alcoves and streamlined furnishings in glistening silver and walnut tones lend the space a contemporary flair.

All eyes are drawn to the lobby’s centerpiece sculpture: a series of white, stacked microbead spheres by renowned Kyoto-based artist Kohei Nawa. The Conrad is home to more than 300 works of art. With a spiraling white staircase that descends from the lobby to the event space (a slight hint of Guggenheim), the property feels more like a modern art museum than a hotel — albeit one that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The hotel’s public spaces are designed to make you feel like you are floating above the city with ambient lighting, soaring ceilings, walls and floors that shimmer with eye-catching textiles, fabrics, beads and gemstones. There’s a noticeable sense of openness, thanks to the lack of pillars.

Behind the check-in desks, the lobby’s slick 40 Sky Bar and Lounge will appeal to fans of the New York Bar at Tokyo’s iconic Park Hyatt hotel with its live jazz, stellar views, craft cocktails and cinematic ambience.

Standout features

  • High-end facilities — like exceptional dining, a destination bar and a tranquil pool — lend the hotel resort-style appeal.
  • Modern, spacious rooms reflect the quirky, offbeat character. They offer luxe elements such as deep-soaking tubs in every room, nods to traditional Japanese design in the origami-inspired artworks and knockout skyline views.
  • The unfailingly warm, unpretentious staff remembered names and personal preferences, and they attempted to connect with guests at every opportunity.
  • The omakase sushi menu at Kura was immaculately prepared with a modern touch.
  • The hotel’s uptown location is ideal for walkers, and it places most of the city’s main sights within a 10-minute taxi ride radius.

Related: The 11 best hotels in Tokyo for your next Japan getaway


  • The decor in the rooms and hallways is dark and moody; the black and vermilion color blocks will not appeal to travelers looking for an air of understated elegance.
  • The hotel’s rates fluctuate from day to day, and it can be relatively expensive compared to its luxury competitors nearby.
  • There are no outdoor spaces and few natural decor elements, like flowers or foliage, which could start to feel oppressive for longer stays.
  • The hotel’s open-plan rooms and grown-up amenities mean there are better accommodation options for families.

The room


You’ll find more works of art along the dark, low-lit corridors that lead to Conrad’s 165 rooms and suites. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that city views are the room’s main attraction, and deep-soaking circular tubs (standard in every room) will provide sybarites with another reason to stay in and luxuriate.

There are 11 room types to choose from, ranging from 568-square-foot standard rooms to the 2,368-square-foot Conrad Penthouse (from $4,305 per night). Across all categories, each room’s modern design riffs on traditional Edo period art forms with shiny black lacquer cabinets, bold red accents, and a smattering of Japanese emblems and motifs.

Circular elements predominated in my room, a nod perhaps to Japanese Enso (Zen) circles. Beside the bed, white, circular recessed lights gave the room an urban edge, and a round wooden table (with plentiful, well-positioned outlets and USB ports) created a highly functional workspace. There was also a curved gray upholstered chaise, primed to take in city and mountain views over morning coffee. 

Comfortable beds, accented with brown leather headboards and frames, were dressed with high-thread-count white sheets, down pillows (buckwheat options are available) and snuggly duvets.

In addition to the bathtub, with a black tile surround, the spacious bathroom also featured a gray-tiled walk-in bath/shower combination (as is quite typical in Japan). It had elegant double vanities and refillable bottles of Byredo Mojave Ghost bath products (no taking these home with you).

A particularly useful feature, the two wooden screen doors provided flexibility to close off the space as needed but also allowed for more space and light during the day — as well as views of Osaka’s trademark skyline from the tub.

Just off the main entryway, there was a large water closet with a separate vanity and traditional Japanese toilet (with a heated, automatic lifting seat and an array of controls and flush options).

A black lacquer cabinet housed a Nespresso coffee maker and various local teas, and the minibar was well stocked with a selection of soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits. There was a large safe that could accommodate laptops. Inside the large closet in the entryway, there was an iron and a steamer along with two plush robes and slippers for guests to use when sauntering down to the pool and spa on the 37th floor.

The two lacquered bedside tables were equipped with a Bose Bluetooth speaker as well as a tablet, which controlled temperature and blackout shades, and provided lighting options for every mood. If you didn’t want to fiddle with it late at night, you could also control the room’s features via the well labeled and intuitive lighting and shades console by the bed. Overall, the room’s functionality was excellent. 

There was turndown service each night of my stay, with complimentary bottles of water replenished and nice treats like local cookies and fresh fruit.

Food and Drink

Breakfast (served from 6:30-10:30 a.m.) is included for Hilton Diamond members at Atmos, the hotel’s casual all-day dining restaurant. (Otherwise, expect to pay 5,000 yen, or $35, for the combined buffet and a la carte experience.)

The buffet options are manifold, spanning everything from noodle, curry and meat dishes to smoked fish, baked goods, fresh fruits, matcha granola and smoothies. The a la carte menu options include classic Western-style egg dishes, as well as signature fusion fare like the Okonomiyaki Benedict (a twist on the traditional Japanese teppan-cooked pancake).

C:Grill serves such delicacies as caviar-topped oysters and lobster, as well as seafood-centric prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner; food is served around a lively L-shaped counter with distant views of Osaka Castle.


The hotel’s not-to-be-missed culinary highlight, though, is Kura where omakase sushi is artfully prepared behind a minimalist cypress counter. Kura also offers interactive teppanyaki grills (prix-fixe dinner menus cost 24,000 yen, or $169) serving seasonal Japanese meats and vegetables. Both C:Grill and Kura were packed with locals at lunch and dinner during my stay, which speaks volumes given Osaka’s foodie-focused culture.

After we were introduced to our sushi chef, the highly choreographed omakase experience (9,000 yen, or $63, for lunch) began with an amuse bouche, followed by sashimi of the day, 12 pieces of nigiri sushi, a sushi roll, red miso soup and matcha ice cream dessert. We enjoyed outstanding sushi during our Japan trip, and this experience was among the most memorable.  

A pre- or post-dinner cocktail in the suave 40 Sky Bar and Lounge is a must, with plush modern furnishings, stunning city views, a scene-setting crystal bead sculpture, live music and cosmopolitan vibes. I loved my Takoyaki in the Sky (3,500 yen, or $25) signature cocktail made with gin, dry vermouth, blue curacao, lemon juice, egg white and takoyaki. A cover charge applies for non-hotel guests (1,600 yen, or $11, per person).

Amenities and service

The swimming pool at the Conrad is everything a city hotel pool should be: It’s beautiful and spa-like, but it’s large enough to swim laps (while taking in the urban panoramas). It’s the perfect temperature, and the luxe materials and ambient lighting are a far cry from your standard hotel pool. There are plenty of plush loungers for reading or napping while sipping on fruit-infused water, and staff are constantly checking in case towels need replenishing. 

Fitness enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the gym’s impressive range of weight machines, free weights and cardio equipment. Even though the hotel was busy during my stay, the gym was never over-subscribed.

I didn’t have time for a spa treatment, but the spa was an uplifting haven — all blonde wood and stark, white, pebble-inspired finishes. It was a welcome contrast to the hotel’s overriding dark and glittery ambience.


Signature treatments include a 110-minute Gemstone Massage (34,500 yen, or $242) which incorporates ancient techniques and gemstone-infused oils; an 80-minute Japanese Herbal Ball massage which uses Japanese herbs to promote detoxification (27,400 yen, or $192); and a 110-minute Radiance facial (35,400 yen, or $248) that includes a triple exfoliation treatment as well as the added bonus of a foot massage with shea butter and crystal gemstones. 


For Hilton’s Diamond members, as well as guests who opt for an executive-level room or suite, the stylish art-filled Executive Lounge is a useful perk available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A selection of coffee and afternoon tea (from 3-5 p.m.), as well as wine, beer and cocktails (from 6-8 p.m.) and a rotating selection of hors d’oeuvres are served throughout the day. It’s especially convenient if you are looking for a comfortable place to work or relax before check-in or after checkout (guests can also use the lounge for 30 minutes after they check out).

Out and about


With excellent public transport and plentiful taxis, it’s easy to make the most of even a short visit to Osaka. Situated at the epicenter of the business district, between the Tosabori and Dojima Rivers, the Conrad’s central location is ideal for exploring the city’s most touristed neighborhoods. 

The Conrad’s gleaming Festival West Tower is also home to the Kosetsu Museum of Art — a repository for Japanese and East Asian antiques and artworks — and Osaka’s famed “Palace of Music” concert hall. The hotel also sits directly on top of the Watanabebashi subway station, and it’s just a 10-minute walk from Umeda, the city’s commercial heart and transportation hub.

Most of the city’s main sites are around a 10-minute taxi ride away, including Osaka Castle, the flashy neon-lit Namba (Osaka’s entertainment and dining district), as well as the famed street food of the Dotonbori district; the district is best known for the famous Glico “Running Man” sign, one of Osaka’s iconic landmarks.


Marriott travelers have plenty of options in Osaka. Those looking for a more classic property with a softer color palette, sophisticated furnishings and impeccable service could consider the St. Regis Osaka (rates from $359 or 52,000 Marriott Bonvoy points). It boasts an ideal location on Midosuji Street, an upscale shopping district, and it’s convenient for grazing at Dotonbori’s street food stalls.

Behind its sleek, monolithic black facade, the 337-room W Osaka (rates from $345 or 46,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) runs wild with a boisterous color palette (including plenty of signature W purple). It has eclectic features and elements like a neon-tunnel entryway, disco-style elevators and DJs playing in the Living Room lobby space. Superb amenities include the Wet pool, which opens onto a patio with a leafy courtyard bar and highly praised restaurants that span teppanyaki, sushi and classic French cuisines.

For a more budget-friendly stay, Marriott’s Moxy Osaka ($154 or 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) is close to Honmachi Station and has all the attributes that made Moxy TPG’s best budget brand for 2023. Its compact, smartly designed rooms start at 204 square feet and have a light, bright, streamlined aesthetic. There’s also a trendy wood-paneled bar area, a convenient grab-and-go snack bar and a small fitness center.

For IHG members, good redemption rates ($427 or 73,000 IHG rewards) abound at the otherwise pricey Intercontinental Osaka. It has light-filled rooms (that start at 421 square feet) and stylish spaces that really come to life in the evening. There’s also an excellent lap pool, a lavish spa with an onsen and one of the city’s best fine-dining restaurants, the Michelin-starred Pierre.



As you’d expect of a Hilton property, the Conrad Osaka complies with local accessibility guidelines. There are wheelchair-accessible routes to reach all the main areas of the hotel from the lobby, including the swimming pool, restaurants, fitness center and spa. Hallways and elevators are equipped with visual alarms, audible alerts and braille.

All rooms are equipped with 32-inch-wide bedroom doors, and accessible rooms feature grab rails in the toilet and a roll-in shower.

As with any hotel, it’s always advisable for guests with accessibility needs to reach out to the hotel before their stay to confirm the availability of specific features.

Checking out


From the moment you step out of the elevator, the Conrad Osaka exudes modern luxury and urban flair. The hotel’s art-filled spaces, memorable Japanese cuisine, lifestyle amenities and genuine, impeccable service from the front desk staff make it easy to relax and be entertained in style whatever your mood.

There are strong, arguably more (classically) luxurious contenders in the $350-per-night price bracket, but for Hilton loyalists looking to bookend busy days touring Osaka with upscale accommodations, a superb breakfast, relaxing dips in the pool, a stellar cocktail bar and excellent on-site dining — the Conrad is worth its price tag (or points redemptions as rates climb).

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